Friday, March 23, 2007

Placing Bloomsberry in Second Life

For my audience research class, I am creating a media plan for Bloomsberry Chocolate, a gourmet and all-natural candy bar company based out of New Zealand. Bloomsberry sells milk chocolate and dark chocolate candy bars that contain a large concentration of natural cocoa. The chocolate is also uniquely packaged in a box that is labeled for a mature, fun crowd. Some of the most popular bars are packaged as "Emergency Chocolate," "Oral Pleasure," and "The World's Greatest Pick-up Bar." This fun and creative product is beginning to gain exposure in the US and has much potential to become even more popular. Therefore, it would be very effective to market Bloomsberry Chocolate in the new interactive, 3-D virtual world of Second Life.

Second Life is an interactive community in which you create your own virtual character, called an avatar - all in the convenience of your own PC. You can buy land, talk with other avatars, pick your own clothes, and dye your hair purple - you can do anything! Real-world companies also buy land in Second Life and build islands that actually market their products. The main purpose, according to this article, is to "both promote in the virtual world and also generate buzz outside of Second Life." Organizations like Reebok, IBM, and Major League Baseball all have land in Second Life for avatars to visit, explore the products, and ask questions with real-life employees. You can design your own shoe at Reebok, browse through computers at IBM, and play some baseball at MLB Island. Click on each of the three links I provided above to see what some parts of the islands look like!
In class, we visited LeoBurnett, Mercedes, and Paper Couture - all very different islands. I realized that every island in SL has a different purposes (business and meetings for LeoBurnett, advertising and consumer interaction for Mercedes, and basic fun for Paper Couture. It is very obvious how simple it can become to reach consumers by marketing in Second Life. Bloomsberry can do this, too, by placing its product on a chocolate island for people to see, or even create their own island.
From working with Bloomsberry for class, I think that it would be smart for Bloomsberry to build its own island. The company needs to increase it exposure and create buzz for its product. In Second Life, Bloomsberry has the potential to reflect the fun and humorous personality of its brand. For example, we can give avatars the chance to browse through the funny and risque chocolate bars - even provide them FREEBIES! Imagine being able to carry around a free, "Emergency Chocolate" bar for when you might need it most! How cool would that be? Bloomsberry already has a unique positioning strategy and Second Life is a great way to show it. As Second Life is growing each day and soon all companies will have their own islands, Bloomsberry should jump on the bandwagon, too. The company has the potential to really make their chocolate shine in SL as a product that no one has ever come into contact with in SL. In turn, my hope is that it would lead to real-life profit and buzz. Tastes like Second-Life success to me!

1 comment:

Liz said...

I was happy to read what you thought of's such a bizarre creation...but it really is effective for marketing! I also have been considering how successful Bloomsberry chocolate might be in SecondLife. I do have doubts, because the primary audience of SL right now is made up of middle-aged people and Bloomsberry's target audience is made up of college kids. You did get me thinking though...a chocolate island might generate excellent newsworthy exposure, which would definitely help increase promotions and sales of Bloomsberry chocolate. After seeing the different islands in SL, Bloomsberry could fit right in. The product is so unique--an interactive island might be the ticket to introducing Bloomsberry to a larger consumer market. great post!

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